Ex-WEC champion set for UFC debut

Carlos Condit does not expect to be nervous when he makes his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut Wednesday night.

In fact, the 24-year-old claims the step up to the organization to headline its Nashville, Tenn., card carries less of a burden than he has felt as World Extreme Cagefighting’s welterweight champion.

“I feel a little bit less pressure, honestly,” he said on a conference call. “I’m not the guy with the target on my back anymore. I’m a guy who’s just trying to make a name for himself again.”

Condit will take on Las Vegan Martin Kampmann in a welterweight bout that will air tape delayed at 8 p.m. on Spike TV (Cable 29). The card will serve as the lead-in for the 10 p.m. season premiere of the ninth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Condit is making the leap to the UFC after the WEC disbanded its upper weight divisions to focus on the smaller classes.

It is not the only change he has made since his last fight, a dramatic knockout of Hiromitsu Miura in August.

Condit decided to move from the gym and trainers in his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., and relocate to Tempe, Ariz., to join Arizona Combat Sports.

“I was feeling a little bit burnt out in Albuquerque. I was looking for a change,” he said. “The reason I went to (Arizona Combat Sports) is they had a lot of guys who excelled in the places I needed to work on in my game. Specifically, they had a lot of really talented wrestlers, and that is the part of my game I have been working on quite a bit.”

Kampmann will be fighting for the second time at 170 pounds. He fought at 185 pounds for most of his career but dropped down after his nine-fight winning streak was snapped in September. Kampmann knocked out Alexandre Barros in January in his welterweight debut.

“It’s an honor to be in the main event. I’m excited about it,” Condit said on the conference call. “But once I get in there, It’s just another fight.”

The new season of “The Ultimate Fighter” will pit a team of U.S. fighters against a team from the United Kingdom.

• TUF FINALE ANNOUNCED — The new season of “The Ultimate Fighter” is just getting ready to begin, but the main event for the season’s finale has already been announced.

Diego Sanchez will take on Clay Guida in a matchup of top contenders in the lightweight division on June 20 at the Palms.

The card will also feature the title fight for the reality show’s ninth season and various bouts featuring other fighters from the show that will be announced at a later date.

• MACHIDA REVEALS TOO MUCH — Lyoto Machida did an interview with Brazilian fighting magazine “Tatame” for its March issue about his preparations for his May 23 title fight with Rashad Evans.

He revealed a strange ritual that would make even Moises Alou cringe.

“People think it’s a joke. I never said it in the United States because I don’t know how the fans will react,” Machida told the magazine. “I drink my urine every morning like a natural medicine.”

Machida says the practice is a family tradition.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509.

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